Major jump-off: Ambasing Elementary School, Brgy. Ambasing, Sagada
Altitude: 1889 MASL (386 meter gain)
Days required / Hours to summit: Half day, 1.5 hours
specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 2/9, Trail class 1,3

For more information, you can visit this page.

Me and my 5 friends decided to visit Sagada and be conquered by 3 mountains. Mt. Ampacao, Mt. Balintaugan and Mt. Polis. I can’t seem to find some other articles or blogs that would refer to these mountains so let me share our experiences. This is going to be a long one, so brace yourselves.

March 6, 2015, Friday

We decided to meet at Coastal by 6 in the afternoon. From there, we rode a van to Sampaloc, Manila. From Manila, we rode a bus to Banaue. Night buses are Ohayami and Florida which is located near University of Sto. Tomas. Ohayami is at the corner of Lacson and Fajardo. Buses schedules are 9P.M and 10PM and will arrive in Banaue at 7A.M. Ohayami fare is 450Pesos. Florida offers the same rate but has deluxe service with bath on board and costs 530Pesos.

Here we took this pattern:

Manila-Banaue: 9 hours / Banaue-Bontoc: 2 hours / Bontoc-Sagada: 1 hour / Sagada-Baguio: 8 hours / Baguio-Manila: 7 hours.

Our first stop over was in Nueva Vizcaya. After 5 hours of sitting. We took a cup of coffee here and mind you, the price is too high. Coffee is P25 per cup. But I love their rest room here. It's so clean.

Our first stop over was in Nueva Vizcaya. After 5 hours of sitting/ butt numbing on the road, we took a cup of coffee here and mind you, the price is too high. Coffee is P25 per cup. But I love their rest room here. It’s so clean.

This was where we ate our breakfast. We had a very bad experience here. The waitresses are all racist. They were bad mouthing us while we were there. They thought none of us understands "Ilocana" dialect. They treat Americans and other foreigners with respect and with extra special care and we felt hated for being there. The food isn't even worth the price.

This was where we ate our breakfast. We had a very bad experience here. The waitresses are all racist. They were bad mouthing us while we were there. They thought none of us understands “Ilocana” dialect. They treat Americans and other foreigners with respect and with extra special care and we felt hated for being there. The food isn’t even worth the price.

So much for the pictures. From Banaue going to Sagada was a 2-hour drive. We rented a van and paid 350p/head and again, we are 6 people. Do your math. On the way, we had stop overs and those places were wonderful. Though they were just viewpoints, they were still magical.

The first stop over was the famous Rice Terraces View Point, there we had picture-taking and met our Israelite friends.

(As you go down, you’ll run through a lot of pictures and you can hover your mouse to see the captions.)

The second stop over was city proper of Mountain Province. There, the driver just gave us some time to take pictures and also feel the moment as we approached Sagada. I wish I can show you my excitement in these pictures!

I believe that’s about it. The next thing I knew we were fast approaching the City proper of Bontoc and there, we’re in Sagada! After hours of butt-numbing experience, finally.

After an hour or two, we headed to the market place in Sagada before we climb the first mountain. We bought foods and drinks to bring up top.

MT. Ampacao

Going to jump off was a long walk from the market place. Before we start climbing the said mountain, we went to a community in a remote place. There, we took a bath and cooked our foods for our late lunch/early dinner. We just badly need to regenerate because we were so tired like hell. Mind you, the water is too cold, it’s like an Ice Bucket Challenge.

4 P.M

We started trekking to the summit and it only took us an hour and thirty. (Please note that this depends on your pacing, the said time is only an approximate). On the trail, there’s a part there where you have to choose between a thirty-minute-trail and a 5-minute-trail. We chose the latter, but it’s 90 degrees super sloppy, challenging, death-defying assault. From there, it’s 15 minutes away from the summit. It was all worth it. The air was so fresh. It blended with the cow’s shit. (Holy Cow!) It smelled home! The camp ground is wide, it can actually fit a community. (That’s exaggerated! But it is wide. Period.)

We were so lucky to have seen the sun set from the summit. We took pictures with the sun before we lost it, (I mean, who doesn’t and wouldn’t nowadays, huh?!)

Tick Tock… Lights out

After we cooked our dinner and had session, we decided to rest and sleep early. The temperature dropped at 14 degrees and we’re literally frozen!

5:00 A.M

It’s still freezing cold. I’m still frozen. Junjun was preparing us coffee, and how did he ever do that? How did he managed the cold? It’s 18 degrees Celsius and thank goodness for our tents that served as our shelter.

8:00 A.M

We were heading down and it only took us 15 minutes. Hello. You can even smoke while trekking down. No sweat! Kidding. But yeah, 15 minutes and we’re back at the starting point. We went to the place where we cooked and took a bath again. We went back to the market place to buy necessities again.

MT. Balintaugan and Mt. Polis

DAY 2. Sagada Trilogy

Long walk. All assault trail. Tiring adventure. I’m drained. We started climbing at 11am and finished Balintaugan by 4pm. It was a day hike, because the plan was to camp at Polis. To Polis, it took us 1 hour and 30 minutes. In short, all we did was walk.

Day 3. Baguio

We rented a van that brought us to Baguio. We left 5am and we touched down Baguio by 11. Usually, it’s a 5 hour ride. For whatever reason, it took us this long.

Baguio Adventure will be on the next blog.. Ciao 🙂

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Comments
  1. What a delightful trip.

    Liked by 1 person

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